from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Law Cohabitation without legal marriage.
  • n. The state of being a concubine.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The state of cohabiting or living together as man and wife while not married.
  • n. The state of being a concubine.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The cohabiting of a man and a woman who are not legally married; the state of being a concubine.
  • n. A plea, in which it is alleged that the woman suing for dower was not lawfully married to the man in whose lands she seeks to be endowed, but that she was his concubine.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act or practice of cohabiting without a legal marriage.
  • n. The state of being a concubine.
  • n. In Rom, law [concubinatus], a permanent cohabitation, recognized by the law, between persons to whose marriage there were no legal obstacles.
  • n. A natural marriage, as contradistinguished from a civil marriage.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. cohabitation without being legally married


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Borrowing from French concubinage


  • a courtezan, and the term concubinage to the latter, because a concubine is a substituted partner of the bed, therefore for the sake of distinction, ante-nuptial stipulation with a woman is signified by keeping a mistress, and post-nuptial by concubinage.

    The Delights of Wisdom Pertaining to Conjugial Love

  • While she and Constantius were a love match, their only choice was to live together in concubinage, an accepted form of cohabitation for people of different social status.

    Santa Elena, discoverer of the Holy Cross

  • "Fornication of such a gross kind as (exists) not even among the heathen, so that one (of you) hath (in concubinage) his father's wife," that is, his stepmother, while his father is still alive (2Co 7: 12; compare Le 18: 8).

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

  • The polygamy and concubinage which is sanctioned in the Koran, has degraded the women to a degree that may be imagined, and certainly has not, as some authorities contend, abolished other evils.

    Mohammed, The Prophet of Islam

  • Contrary practices, such as concubinage, were still tolerated, but they counted for little in the social organism.

    The Mission and Expansion of Christianity in the First Three Centuries

  • Ph. Schaff, W.J. Mann describes the relation of the General Synod to the Methodists and Presbyterians as a "concubinage" with the sects.

    American Lutheranism Volume 2: The United Lutheran Church (General Synod, General Council, United Synod in the South)

  • The Court held that a same - gender relationship could not constitute "concubinage" for the purpose of terminating alimony.

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  • Former husband sought to terminate his alimony payments which were made pursuant to a separation agreement because his wife began cohabitating with another women, which he claimed ran afoul of the "concubinage" restriction in the agreement.

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  • "I'm reminded of the first Christian legislators, who didn't quickly abolish the tolerant Roman laws regarding practices which didn't conform to the natural law, or which were actually contrary to it, such as concubinage and slavery," Cardinal Cottier wrote.


  • (fornication) is always distinct from porneia can also mean "concubinage," "marriage between relatives" forbidden by the Mosaic Law

    Biblical Evidence for Catholicism


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